8 Best Places To Go Winter Camping

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — November 24, 2020) —

By Lisa Medeiros

The camping season doesn’t need to end when temperatures drop. Die-hard campers know winter is the uncelebrated camping season. Experience the great outdoors as nature intended by cozying up by the fire, watching winter wildlife and hiking miles of peaceful, snow-covered trails. We’ve put together the five best places to go winter camping, so grab your warmest sleeping bag and toastiest socks for an outdoor winter adventure to remember.

Wild River State Park, Minnesota

Escape the hustle of the Twin Cities with an outdoor winter camping retreat in Wild River State Park. Located just an hour outside Minneapolis, this tranquil state park offers exhilarating winter activities like ice fishing, fat biking, hiking and snowshoeing as described at MtnScoop.com. Campers will witness intriguing winter wildlife, like the Trumpeter Swan, recognizable by its impressive eight-foot wingspan.

Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

Along with 96 campground choices, Deschutes National Forest allows dispersed camping (camping outside a designated campground) for those seeking an extreme winter camping experience. Die-hard winter campers can blaze their own trail through the forest for the optimal rustic backcountry escape. There’s plenty of winter activities for all campers to experience, like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and alpine skiing at nearby Mt. Bachelor. 

White River National Forest, Colorado

The most visited national forest in the nation, White River National Forest encompasses 2.3 million acres of wilderness. With 56 campgrounds within the forest, you’ll find plenty of winter camping choices beneath the snow-capped peaks. This national forest offers all the winter activities one would expect in a Rocky Mountain location, like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hunting and snowmobiling. And many of Colorado’s top ski resorts, including Aspen-Snowmass and Vail, are within driving distance. 

Merck Forest and Farmland Center, Vermont

This 3,100-acre non-profit working farm and forest feature nine rental cabins, each providing the quintessential Vermont winter retreat. Merck’s rustic cabins are ideal for those seeking a bit more comfort than campground camping, though there’s no indoor plumbing. These backcountry cabins are a cozy way to experience New England’s snowy landscape. There are 30 miles of well-marked trails ideal for winter hikes, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. After a chilly day of outdoor winter activities, head back to the cabin to snuggle up by a crackling fire.

Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

One of the largest national forests in North America, Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest delivers plenty of wintertime fun to its campers. The park encompasses  1.7 million acres, 170 miles of snowmobile trails, and 120 miles of cross-country ski trails. Bald eagles are frequent visitors to the forest, and wintertime provides the best chance at spotting the iconic bird of prey. Those hoping to add downhill skiing to their activity list can choose from several nearby resorts, including Crystal Mountain. 

Mississippi Palisades, Illinois

Mississippi Palisades in Illinois makes a great winter camping destination thanks to its birdwatching opportunities. People who can visit during January and February will get the chance to see bald eagles during the colder season. Plus, tourists can enjoy days of hiking along with the 15-mile-long trail system. However, hiking is not the only activity available. Certain areas of the Palisades permit winter sports like sledding and cross-country skiing. 

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley is the lowest and driest part of the entire United States, which makes it ideal for winter camping. While the soaring temperatures make an extended visit uncomfortable during the summer months, winter’s more mild weather will allow you to enjoy this surreal landscape. Death Valley features a number of campgrounds to choose from, including Mesquite Spring, Emigrant, Wildrose and Furnace Creek (which has full hookups for RVs). 

Arches National Park, Utah 

The striking geologic structures throughout Utah’s Arches National Park are sure to impress no matter when you visit.. However, the scenery is particularly spectacular in winter, when dustings of snow contrast the rust-hued rock formations. While you can certainly take in the views from one of the park’s hiking trails, Arches also has a road that will lead you to many of the notable sites. That way, you can enjoy the park without needing to bundle up. Arches National Park encompasses plenty of campground space, so you can take in Utah’s legendary starry skies. But the park is also within easy reach of the town of Moab should temperatures drop too low for comfort.